September 30, 2013

PLA missile system uses Japanese-made switch: Global Times

What if the the Japanese turn off the switch? Was the PLA not able to "copy" the switch and put in a -Made in PRC- Label on it?

A Japanese AZ8112 limit switch. (Internet Photo)

Turkey has decided to purchase the FD-2000, the export version of China's HQ-9 medium-to-long range surface-to-air missile, but the Global Times, a tabloid under the auspices of the Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily, noted that the AZ8112 limit switch of the missile is actually made in Japan.

As China is currently locked in a territorial dispute with Japan over the Diaoyu (Diaoyutai or Senkaku) islands, the Global Times pointed out that it is a potential threat and Japanese electronic components can no longer be used in Chinese weapon systems. In addition to the HQ-9 missile, the report said that the submarine radar systems of the People's Liberation Army Navy are also made in Japan.

Without enough experience to produce its own electronic products, China has to import some electronic components from either Japan and South Korea. However, both Japan and South Korea support the "Asia Pivot" strategy of the United States — the US defense strategy from the Obama Administration that calls for strengthening American military might in the Asia-Pacific. For this reason, China's national security is thus in danger if it continues to rely too much on US allies to improve the quality of its weapon systems, the report said.

The disputed Diaoyu islands are controlled by Japan, which refers to them as Senkaku, and also claimed by Taiwan, where they are known as Diaoyutai.

MiG-29K Carrier Trials Complete on board the Indian Navy's Vikramaditya

Flight trials of the MiG-29K on the INS Vikramaditya (formerly Admiral Gorshkov) in the Barents Sea have been completed. Deliveries of the naval version of the fighter to India continue, with the carrier to follow on November 15, and the Russian Navy will soon receive its first MiG-29K. The Russian defense ministry confirmed this month that its only remaining carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, will be modernized to accept MiG-29Ks as well as the Sukhoi Su-25UTG light attack and Su-33 combat aircraft.

The latest series of flights, conducted in August and September, used two factory aircraft (a MiG-29KUB two-seater, side number 204, and a single-seat MiG-29K, side number 941). The dozen flights demonstrated takeoffs and landings at night, and with a maximum practical combat load specified by the Indian customer. These trials followed a previous series of 42 customer-specified missions from the same carrier between June and August last year.

RAC MiG director general Sergei Korotkov commented, “The completion of the flight trials from the carrier’s deck marks a milestone in the life-cycle of the ship Project 11430 as well as the MiG-29K/29KUB program.” RAC MiG’s next step will be to train Indian navy pilots in the techniques of ship-borne operations.

The MiG-29K/KUB are attributed to the “4++” generation of Russian combat aircraft. They are intended for air defense of a carrier task group: establishing air superiority over the theater of sea-land operations, destroying land and seagoing targets with precision-guidance munitions in all weathers, day and night. The customized Indian navy MiG-29KUB first flew in January 2007, followed in March 2008 by the first flight of a deliverable aircraft.

In 2011 RAC MiG delivered the last airframe in the initial batch of 16 aircraft to the Indian navy under the contract signed in 2004. Last year the manufacturer delivered the first four of 29 more naval MiGs to India. The Russian Navy has ordered 24 MiG-29Ks.

The Admiral Kuznetsov will be modernized within the next five years by the Sevmash shipyard. Conversion of the INS Vikramaditya has been controversial, with the cost to India having risen from some $600 million to more than $2 billion.

Neatherlands sells 15 F16 jet fighters to Jordan

The ministry of Defense is intended to sell 15 F16 jet fighters and 52 Maverick rockets to Jordan. Both parties have agreed upon this, wrote minister Jeanine Hennis to the House.
The signing of the contract will probably done next month. Included in the sales will also be training of the maintenance and use of the jet fighters. The actual delivery will take place around the end of 2015.

The sale was judged on several criteria of the EU and passed the test. An important criterion is if it will have any consequences for the human rights in the receiving country.
Since Jordan is located besides Syria, the situation at the moment of the delivery, will be judged.

September 29, 2013

Russia delivers last Su-30MK2 fighters to Indonesian Air Force

Excellent photo of Su-30MK2 fighters of Indonesian Air Force

The Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU) has taken delivery of the final two Sukhoi Su-30MK2 multirole fighter aircraft under contract from Russia at the Sultan Hasanuddin Air Force Base in Makassar, Indonesia.

Delivered by Komsomolsk-na Amure Aircraft Production Association (KNAPO) in unassembled condition, the aircraft turns TNI AU's Sukhoi air superiority fighter jet fleet into one full squadron, comprising 16 Su-27 SKM and Su-30 Mk2 planes, Xinhua reports.

Indonesian defence minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro was quoted by local media as saying that the country has invested around $1.17bn on procurement of the 16 aircraft along with ammunition, pilot training and logistic packages.

Iran Claims Data from Downed CIA RQ-170 Decoding Completed

Iranian officials say they have completed decoding the surveillance data and software extracted from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) UAS that the United States lost possession of nearly two years ago near the city of Kashmar.

Hossein Salami, the lieutenant commander general of Iran’s Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, told the country’s Fars news agency that analysts have finally cracked the systems used within the RQ-170 Sentinel obtained in December 2011.

Iranians claimed previously that they brought it down after it entered Iranian airspace without permission. Roughly one week later, CIA officials admitted it was conducting a reconnaissance mission over Afghanistan when it went missing.

“All the memories and computer systems of this plane have been decoded and some good news will be announced in the near future not just about the RQ-170 and the optimizations that our forces have done on the reversed engineered model of this drone, but also in area of other important defense achievements,” Fars quoted Salami.

September 28, 2013

Iranian F-4E Phantom crashed on Bushehr

 The F-4E Phantom II of the 61st Tactical Fighter Squadron in Bushehr apparently had a “violent tire burst” while landing on runway 31L on September 23rd, forcing the aircraft off the runway. The crew attempted to eject which resulted in the tragic death of the pilot, Major Rezaie. The WSO Capt. Salimi was injured.
This is the third crash of an Iranian F-4 Phantom in the last three years, which includes the 2010 crash in Bushehr and 2012 crash in Bandar Abbas.

The F-4 remains the workhorse of IRIAF. The Iranian air force has recently mounted Qader anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM) on its F-4Es (see the report here). The move gives Iran ALCM capabilities, in addition to its ASCMs that can be fired from land or the sea.

The Shah of Iran purchased more than 260 F-4s in late 1960s and 1970s. The first combat use of an F-4 by Iranian air force was in 1975 when the Shah supported Oman government against the separatist rebels in the country’s Dhofar province. It is estimated that some 30 F-4s were lost during the conflict. The F-4s played key role in the 8-year war with Iraq, and an estimated 80 Phantoms were lost during that war. To this day, the F-4s are responsible for majority of alert duties for the IRIAF.

Currently, the F-4Es are based in Bushehr, Bandar Abbas and Hamadan air force bases. It is estimated that some 60 F-4E and RF-4Es are still kept fly-worthy and operational, and few aging F-4Ds that are based in Chahbahar.

September 27, 2013

Sources confirm New Zealand in negotiations for Australian Penguin missiles

New Zealand is negotiating with Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence Systems to purchase Penguin Mk 2 Mod 7 anti-ship missiles from Australia, according to sources.

This follows confirmation by an Australian Department of Defence (DoD) spokesperson to IHS Jane's that the Australian-owned missiles are being marketed for sale, with unspecified conditions, by Kongsberg, the weapon's manufacturer.

"The DoD is aware that New Zealand is exploring options to procure some of the Australian stock," the spokesperson added.

September 26, 2013

Boeing, US Air Force test fly unmanned F-16

The day when machines would take human jobs are not far away

Aerospace giant Boeing has revealed that one of its signature Lockheed Martin F-16s flew from Florida to the Gulf of Mexico with an empty cockpit for the first time last week, while being navigated by two US Air Force pilots on the ground, according to the BBC.

Boeing revealed that it has retrofitted retired fighter jets to turn them into drones. The F-16 was first inducted into service in 1978, then manufactured by General Dynamics.

The company suggested that the innovation could ultimately be used to help train pilots, providing an adversary they could practise firing on.

It carried out a series of manoeuvres including a barrel roll and a “split S” – a move in which the aircraft turns upside down before making a half loop so that it flies the right-way-up in the opposite direction. This can be used in combat to evade attack.

Boeing said the unmanned F-16 was followed by two chase planes to ensure it stayed in sight, and also contained equipment that would have allowed it to self-destruct if necessary.

The firm added that the flight attained 7Gs of acceleration but was capable of carrying out manoeuvres at 9Gs – something that might cause physical problems for a human pilot.

“It flew great, everything worked great, [it] made a beautiful landing – probably one of the best landings I’ve ever seen,” said Paul Cejas, the project’s chief engineer.

Lt Col Ryan Inman, Commander of the US Air Force’s 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron, also had praise for how the test had gone.
“It was a little different to see it without anyone in it, but it was a great flight all the way around,” he said.

Boeing said that it had a total of six modified F-16s, which have been renamed QF-16s, and that the US military now planned to use some of them in live fire tests.

However, a spokesperson for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots warned of the temptation to use them in warfare.

“I’m very concerned these could be used to target people on the ground,” said Prof Noel Sharkey.

“I’m particularly worried about the high speed at which they can travel because they might not be able to distinguish their targets very clearly.

“There is every reason to believe that these so-called ‘targets’ could become a test bed for drone warfare, moving us closer and closer to automated killing.”

This is not the first time a jet has been retrofitted to fly without a pilot inside. The US Air Force has previously used adapted F4 Phantoms for target practice.

The F-16 was revolutionary when it was first introduced since its airframe was not naturally aerodynamic and needed a computer aboard to keep making tiny adjustments to keep the plane in the air.

September 25, 2013

Special Services Group (SSG), Cherat, Nowshera, Pakistan Army

They also teach how to behead dead soldiers

The Gun That Aims Itself

Chinese Hackers Are Helping China Build Cheap Clones of America's Drones - BRIC countries like Russia, India and Brazil should start hacking Chinese computers

Chinese UAV technology is the same as that of US, only reverse engineered.

All US enemies like Syria, Pakistan(Chinese rogue side kick just like North Korea), Somalia, Libya, Al Qaeda,  will soon have cheaper UAVs with Beidou navigation system with "Made in China" engravings.

Find out below which one is original?  Even the color scheme has been copied shamelessly.


Secret stealth drone captured by Iran

Same Secret stealth drone technology transferred by Iran to China. Chinese production line for these stealth drones

American drone models with new Chinese names

Beginning in 2011, a series of weaponized emails—PDF and Word attachments with malware inside—were sent to people who work in America's drone brain trust. A cybersecurity group found that the attachments, many of them with benign titles like "dodd-frank-conflict-minerals.doc," "Boeing_Current_Market_Outlook_2011_to_2030.pdf" and "April Is the Cruelest Month.pdf," originated with a hacker group in Shanghai linked to China's military.

Of the 261 attacks uncovered, 123 targeted U.S. drone companies, from large defense contractors to small firms. "We believe the attack was largely successful," Darien Kindlund, manager of threat intelligence at the cybersecurity company FireEye, based in California, said in February. “It seems to align pretty well with the focus of the Chinese government to build up their own drone technology capabilities,” he told the New York Times in a report published on Saturday, which included a salad of alarming cyberpunk keywords: China. Drones. Hacking. Secret Military Campaigns over Contested Territories.

Creepy language aside, if you've been following news of China's military hackers, little of this should come as a surprise. Of course Beijing, despite insisting that it's not behind the attacks, and is itself is the victim of cyberespionage, has a motive for going after American drone secrets, just as it would with any emergent military technology, and just as Washington does in return.

The evidence suggests that Bejing is enthusiastically seeking unmanned technology, and is willing to use newfangled means to get it. Over the weekend signs emerged of a massive cyber-security incident in the US Navy's systems, one that necessitated an unusual two-day interruption by network admins. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the country's Chief Naval Officer told members of Congress that cybersecurity was his second biggest priority after nuclear deterrence.

But this isn't a new arms race yet. The fear is that China's drone military arsenal, which currently numbers less than 300 units—second only to the US's—could further disrupt the balance of power in East Asia, and escalate tensions with Japan and other neighbors. Japan has said it is considering shooting down drones that cross into its airspace, as at least one Chinese drone did recently.

A report earlier this year by the Washington-based Project 2049 Institute warned that if the US were pulled into armed conflict between China and Japan, it would face a formidable challenge from Chinese drones. "The PLA has developed one of the largest and most organizationally complex UAV programs in the world," the authors wrote.

China's drone capacity is now over half a century old, and it started with a copy: after the Sino-Soviet split, the PLA began reverse engineering the Soviet Lavochkin La-17C target drones that it had received from Moscow in the late 1950s. Today, information about the PLA’s drone efforts is limited, but a report to Congress over the summer noted that China “probably is developing and operating UAVs for electronic warfare," and aircraft that “probably would focus on jamming tactical communications and global positioning system (GPS), but could provide a range of other capabilities, including false target generation against enemy Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS)/Airborne Early Warning (AEW) and power grid attack.” Note the use of probably.

The Times also notes that China is interested in building drones that the US doesn't really have a counterpart for. Recently, Mike Hostage, chief of the air service's Air Combat Command said that MQ-1 Predators and MQ-9 Reapers—the U.S. military's most prominent attack drones—"have limited capability" against even basic air defenses. "We're not talking deep over mainland China; we're talking any contested airspace. Pick the smallest, weakest country with the most minimal air force—[it] can deal with a Predator."

Still, the American drone program far exceeds the capabilities of that of any other country; between miniature drones, stealth drones and long-range drones, it's thought that the U.S. is still 20 years ahead of China.

But by stealing designs, China can avoid years of mistakes and create far cheaper versions that can be used for surveillance and tactical warfare. Why reinvent the drone if you can copy it wholesale?

While it's still not clear just how much access Chinese cyberspies have had to American designs, among the drones China now has on offer, many do look suspiciously like clones of American models.

And then there are the drones that can't be talked about publicly. Over the summer, grainy photographs emerged on Chinese internet forums of a stealthy new drone with a distinctive swept-wing design that bears a close resemblance to the RQ-170 Sentinel, a secret US drone that has been spotted in Afghanistan. Nicknamed "The Beast of Kandahar", the RQ-170 was reportedly used to provide live video to the White House of the assault on Osama bin Laden's compound in 2011.

That same year, Tehran got its hands on one of these stealth drones after it landed, fully intact, on Iranian soil. (This week, Iran said it would soon release its own reverse-engineered version of the RQ-170.) While Washington has acknowledged losing the drone, it's not clear if Iran hacked the drone's guidance systems, as it claimed to have done, or if as some speculated, Chinese hackers assisted the Iranians. What's clearer is that in 2012 a team of Chinese experts visited Iran to inspect the captured drone. (After the bin Laden operation, it appeared that Pakistan allowed Chinese officials to inspect another secret aircraft, a stealth helicopter that a Navy SEAL team had crashed at the site.)

There are other promising models too: the Xiang Long BZK-005, which bears a slight resemblance to the US RQ-4 Global Hawk, is a longer-range UAV designed for reconnaissance, with a flight time, cruise altitude, and cruising speed that reportedly matches the American version. Its range however is only a third of the Global Hawk's range of 20,000km. The Anjian, or Dark Sword, is a more original design, reportedly intended for air-to-air combat.

Despite the striking resemblances and possible IP theft, China is thought to lag far behind on the technical side of drones. China's UAV software and control systems are not as advanced as comparable US systems, and the country's pilots suffer from a relative lack of experience operating drones for extended periods of time.

"If we rank the automation capabilities of UAV with 10 being the highest score, China can only get five or six," Wang Yangzhu, deputy director at the Unmanned Aircraft System Institute under the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, told China Daily in June. "The most outstanding obstacle confronting us remains the engine problem," Wang said. The PLA's budget, a fraction of the Pentagon's, also accounts for lower capabilities.

There's another concern, and one left largely untouched by the Times story: by copying US drones and building them at cut rates, China could become the go-to drone builder for smaller military powers eager to get in on the drone craze. In essence, the booming drone market that the US has created could be China's for the taking, in an echo of China's global green energy ambitions.

China could parlay the advantages it does have into more money for research by dominating a budding world market. Its low costs and relatively loose export controls mean it can gain a foothold ahead of the U.S. and Israel.
For instance, the Wing Loong—the Chinese version of the Reaper—can be had for the bargain price of $1 million, compared to the Reaper, which goes for about $30 million.

Because China is not a member of either the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) or the looser but broader Wassenaar Arrangement, a recent report by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, "China’s Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Industry," notes that, “in the long term, China’s continued interest and progression in strategic-level UAVs appear poised to position China as a leader in the high-end UAV market.”

“In the absence of competition from more sophisticated U.S. or Israeli alternatives," concludes the report, "China could become a key proliferator to non-members of the MTCR or Wassenaar,” mainly developing countries.

"(The US) drone exports are very expensive platforms, very sophisticated," Wendell Minnick of Defense News told the VOA last year. "The Chinese produce a much cheaper variety that basically does the same job. [They] are looking at an export market that's growing."
Serve the Robots

China's UAV industry is thought to have sold UAVs to the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan, and five to six nations in Africa and Asia have reportedly expressed their intention of buying a Wing Loong, the discount Reaper drone (China . But China's well-known technical limitations remain a liability in the eyes of most buyers. "I'm sure they'd like to be [a big exporter], but the question is, do you want to buy Chinese equipment?" Richard Bitzinger, an ex-CIA analyst, told the VOA last year. "The reliability, the maintenance of these things is still unproven, and there's a lot of political baggage that comes with buying Chinese [products]." And unlike the US and Israel, China hasn't had many chances to gain real-world experience with their drones yet.

That began changing earlier this year, as the country began flying UAV sorties over the contested Diaoyu/Senaku islands, raising tensions with Japan, and over along China’s southern coast. There are reports that drones are also planned for the South China Sea where China has made claims over the oil- and gas-rich region over the protests of the Phillipines. Beijing has also said it would establish a dozen drone bases along its coast by 2015.

As in the US, China's drones are making a splash domestically too. Last year, the state-run Global Times reported that Beijing police were using a drone to look for illegal opium poppies in rural areas of the capital. The department also said it would use unmanned aircraft to monitor traffic accidents, conduct aerial surveillance, or help with rescue operations. (China's internal security budget exceeds its military budget.) “As the Americans say,” Huang Wei, the director of China's CH-4 program, told the Global Times recently, “the U.A.V. is fit for missions that are dirty, dangerous and dull.”

September 23, 2013

This Underwater Airplane Flies Through The Ocean Unlike Any Submarine Before It

Russia Boosts Security For Sochi Olympics With Pantsir-S Systems

Six Pantsir-S short-range air defense systems have been delivered to the Russian military ahead of schedule to ensure security during the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, a senior defense ministry official said.

The XXII Olympic Winter Games are scheduled to take place from February 7 to 23 in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

The first Winter Olympics to be held in Russia are widely regarded as an opportunity for the country to showcase its economic achievements under President Vladimir Putin.

September 21, 2013

China to Get Russian Su-35 Jets in 2014 – Rosoboronexport

Su-35 fighter jet

MOSCOW, September 7 – Moscow and Beijing expect to seal the deal on the sale of Russian Su-35 fighter jets to China in 2014, a senior official at the Russian arms exports monopoly said Saturday.
“Talks are ongoing, but the deal is unlikely to be sealed before the year’s end. The signing will most likely take place next year,” said Viktor Komardin, deputy head of the state-run Rosoboronexport.
“Chinese negotiators are discussing the technical outlook of the plane,” Komardin told RIA Novosti.

He did not say how many multirole fighter jets China wants to buy, but added that Beijing is also interested in purchasing ordnance for them.

“There will definitely be integral weapons, but we’ll be discussing external weapons,” Komardin said.

“They want new types of weapons that we have, including from the [Moscow Region-based] Tactical Missiles Corporation. But that’ll be a separate deal,” he said.
Negotiations about China’s purchase of the Russian Su-35 – a deep modernization of the Su-27M, the current staple of the Russian Air Force – were opened in 2010, but frozen last year.
However, Rosoboronexport head Anatoly Isaikin told a group of Chinese pilots during the MAKS airshow in Russia last week that they will “soon” have the opportunity to fly the Su-35.

September 19, 2013

Japan's military seeks big boost in defense budget

Chinese "peaceful" rise has made neighbors uncomfortable

TOKYO - Japan needs to boost its military spending to counter the potential threat from China's increasingly powerful armed forces and North Korea's long-range missiles, its defense minister said Tuesday.

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Japan cannot afford to be complacent over what he said are significant security issues in the region. His ministry announced last week it is seeking a 3 percent increase in defense spending for the coming year, the biggest increase it has requested in 22 years.
Onodera said the increase reflects growing concern in Japan that it must move to counter a more assertive Chinese military amid territorial disputes over uninhabited southern islands. He also noted that North Korea has the ability to strike targets within Japan - including U.S. bases where about 50,000 American troops are stationed - and said Japan's military must be fully prepared to respond with its allies to any contingency with the North.
"There are various tensions ongoing in Asia, and in some cases, there are countries that even use threats," he said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been a strong advocate of strengthening Japan's military despite the country's other economic pressures, including the massive costs of reconstruction and decontamination following the nuclear disaster triggered by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan's northern shoreline in 2011. Japan's defense spending has been declining steadily for 11 years, although it increased slightly this year.

China’s buying of German firm will block engine delivery for Turkish UAV

Turkish Aerospace Industries develops the Anka, the first indigenous UAV, which is a medium-altitude long-endurance MALE-category drone. DHA photo

It looked entirely like any other business takeover between the Chinese and Germans with no relevance to Turkey. But the news that a Chinese group had acquired the troubled German maker of aircraft engines means Turkey must now find a new engine supplier for its first indigenous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the Anka.

Turkish officials and the Anka team are now worried that Chinese group Avic International’s acquisition of Thielert, a bankrupt German maker of diesel engines for aircraft may further delay the Anka which would otherwise have been powered by Thielert’s Centurion engine.

Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) which develops the Anka had ordered the Centurion for a batch of 10 aircraft. Now TAI must look elsewhere to find a new engine to power the Anka.

The ANKA is a medium-altitude long-endurance MALE-category drone. Such UAVs usually operate for 24 hours at an altitude of 10,000 feet.

ANKA, meaning Phoenix in English, is the first MALE-type UAV to be produced by TAI. One of the prototypes crashed during a test flight in September but several other flight tests have been carried out successfully.

ANKA+, another version of the ANKA, calls for an armed vehicle, using a rocket attached to its body and sensors.

Aircraft Carrier Vikramaditya To Join Indian Navy In November

With all trials successfully completed in the White Sea and Barents Sea, the Vikramaditya (formerly Admiral Gorshkov) aircraft carrier will be commissioned into Indian Navy service between November 15-20 at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk, Russia.

September 18, 2013

Iran to Use Sayyad Missiles in S-200 Air Defense System

Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmayeeli told reporters in Tehran today that Iran has “restructured” its Russian-made S-200 missile defense system to be operated with homemade Sayaad (“Hunter”) 2 missiles.
The Sayyad-2 static surface-to-air missiles reportedly have a maximum range of between 200 and 350 km, using radio illumination mid-course correction to fly towards the target with a terminal semi-active radar homing phase. The missile is based on Russian S-75 (NATO SA-2 Guideline) and is influenced by the Chinese HQ-2 and the HAWK and Standard missiles currently in the country’s air defense force inventory. It was first tested in April 2011.
Iran tested its S-200 anti-aircraft missile systems in November 2010. It is a long range, medium-to-high altitude surface-to-air missile (SAM) system designed to defend against bomber attack.
Gen. Esmayeeli also said that his command will soon test Bavar (“Belief”) 373 system – which he described as an Iranian version of Russian S-300 long-range air defense system. Russia has refused to deliver the S-300 to Iran despite having signed a sales contract with the country.

September 17, 2013

Turkey Says It Shot Down Syrian Military Helicopter Flying in Its Airspace

A destroyed Russian-made helicopter that belonged to the Syrian Army is seen at the Minnig Military Airport, after it was seized by rebels, August 11, 2013. (Reuters/Mahmoud Hassano)

ISTANBUL — The Turkish government said Monday that one of its fighter planes shot down a Syrian military helicopter that had flown into Turkish airspace, a potentially significant escalation of tensions between the neighbors and former allies, now bitterly divided over Syria’s civil war.

An F-16 warplane intercepted a Russian-built Mi-17 helicopter as it crossed Turkey’s southern border, Turkish officials said. The helicopter’s crew was repeatedly warned by radio and did not turn back, they said. When the helicopter had strayed roughly a mile across the border, the jet fired on it, the officials said, and it crashed to the ground in Syria. 

“No one, from now on, will dare to violate Turkish borders in any way,” the Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, told reporters in Paris on Monday evening, according to the semiofficial Anatolian News Agency. 

The Syrian Army confirmed that it had lost a helicopter that it said was on a reconnaissance mission and had mistakenly crossed into Turkish territory.
The Syrian Army Command denounced Turkey’s reaction as “hasty.” Referring to Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, it said the move was evidence of what it called the “real intentions of Erdogan’s government towards Syria, which is seeking escalation at the borders of the two countries,” the Syrian state news agency reported. 

The military action seemed to amplify the Turkish government’s increasing calls for a more muscular international response to the civil war in Syria. 

Mr. Erdogan was one of the first world leaders to call for the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, and he has strongly backed the Syrian rebels. In recent weeks, Mr. Erdogan has called for a broad military intervention that would destabilize Mr. Assad’s government and force him from power — a position that has put the prime minister at odds with the Turkish public, which opposes any military role in the crisis. 

Mr. Erdogan has also reacted coolly to a plan by the United States and Russia to destroy or remove Syria’s chemical weapons, saying it would buy Mr. Assad more time. Mr. Davutoglu said Monday that the agreement “does not serve as an end to the Syrian crisis,” which he warned could escalate further even without chemical weapons. 

Until Monday, Turkey had largely refrained from unilateral military action against Mr. Assad’s forces, even after Syria shot down a Turkish warplane in June 2012 and after stray shelling from Syria killed five civilians in a Turkish border village. Nor did the government retaliate in May, after it blamed Turkish citizens backed by Syrian intelligence agencies for twin car bombings that killed scores of people in the Turkish border town of Reyhanli.
Turkey has shored up its defenses along its border with Syria, partly by deploying Patriot missile batteries. Parliament revised the military rules of engagement last year to allow retaliation against Syrian attacks. 

Turkish officials framed the downing of the helicopter on Monday as a defensive action that came after repeated warnings, rather than the kind of aggressive attack on Mr. Assad’s air force that the Syrian rebels have been pressing their international allies to conduct. 

The Turkish military said that it began tracking the Syrian helicopter at 1:41 p.m., when the aircraft was 26 nautical miles from the border, and that warnings had been repeated until it was about five miles away. Officials released radar tracking that showed what the military said was the path of the helicopter, hugging the border in Syria’s Idlib Province for a time before crossing into Turkish territory, near the town of Yayladagi.

The helicopter crashed less than a mile inside Syrian territory. On Monday in Ankara, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said there was no information on the fate of the helicopter’s crew.
Rebel activists in Syria asserted on Monday that a Syrian warplane had been shot down. Rebel groups quoted by the Anatolian News Agency said that rebel fighters had shot down a Syrian Air Force MIG-21. It was not possible to determine whether the rebels and Turkish officials were referring to separate episodes. 

Videos posted by rebel activists showed images of a fireball in the sky and what appeared to be someone with a parachute drifting toward the ground. One rebel fighter said he saw members of a jihadist brigade capture and behead a crew member.
The fighter provided an image purporting to show the severed head of the slain Syrian airman, but neither his account nor the picture’s authenticity could be independently confirmed.

September 15, 2013

Scientists Control One Person’s Body With Another Person’s Brain

Direct Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans: A Pilot Study by computational neuroscientist Rajesh Rao and Professor Andrea Stocco

Sit down for this one. Researchers at the University of Washington have figured out how to send commands from one person’s brain to control a different person’s muscle movement. In technical terms, it’s the world’s first noninvasive human-to-human brain interface. How’d they do it? Vulcan mind meld? Nope, just the regular ol’ internet. What in the hell?

Here’s how it went down: In one building, computational neuroscientist Rajesh Rao sat wearing an electroencephalography cap, which measures the brain’s electrical activity. Dr. Rao watched a simple computer game, firing a cannon at a target. At the right moment, Dr. Rao imagined moving his right hand to hit the “fire” button, being sure not to actually move his hand.

Across campus, Dr. Rao’s colleague, Professor Andrea Stocco, wore a cap holding a transcranial magnetic stimulation coil, which sits on the scalp and stimulates muscle control regions of the brain with a magnetic impulse. He wore noise-blocking earplugs and faced away from the video screen. Signals sent from Dr. Rao’s cap traveled through the internet and trigger Dr. Stocco’s cap. The result? Dr. Stocco’s finger hit the “fire” button on Dr. Rao’s command.

As sci-fi bizarro as this sounds, the whole setup basically used off-the-shelf components. The electroencephalogram cap that picked up the brain activity, and the transcranial coil that transmitted it, have been deployed in scientific experiments for years, and the internet’s not exactly a recent innovation either. But while researchers have performed brain-to-brain communication between rats and from a human to a rat, the University of Washington team claims this is the first human-to-human brain interface.

Pakistan army grappling with deserting officers

 These officers went to the very countries which Pakistanis are trained to hate......US and UK........Double speak ??

Lt Col Farook Yousaf Khan (PA-111887), went to USA and deserted with effect from Sept 1, 1995; Maj Muhammad Khalid Jamal Ghani (PA-101770), went to USA and deserted w.e.f Nov 28, 1999; Maj Adnan Mansoor (PA-101860), gone to UK and deserted w.e.f Jan 08, 1996; Maj Riaz Ahmed (PA-102286), deserted w.e.f Dec 26, 1998; Maj Amir Riaz Malik (PA-102562), deserted w.e.f Nov 19, 2001 and had gone to UK; Maj Syed Babar Ajaz (PA-102748), deserted w.e.f Oct 05, 2000 and had gone to UK; Maj Hif Ur Rehman (PA-102768), deserted on Sept 27, 2002, had gone to UK; Maj Hafeez Khalid (PA-103143), deserted w.e.f July 05, 2009, had gone to Australia; Maj Syed Sibte Hadi (PA-116713), deserted w.e.f Jan 03, 2001, had gone to UK; and Capt Zaeem Azhar Siddiqi (PA-102215), deserted w.e.f Sept 04, 1996, had gone to US.

Pakistan Army

A number of Pakistani Army officers belonging to its Medical Corps, including a Lt Colonel, have 'deserted' while on training courses abroad, a media report said.
After having graduated from the Army Medical College and commissioned in the Pakistan Army's Medical Corps, these officers when sent to countries like the US, the UK and Australia, and did not return, The News daily reported.

The Surgeon General of the Pakistan Army has formally approached the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) with the first batch of deserter officers to de-notify their registration.
The PMDC has also been asked to get the registration of these deserters cancelled in the countries of their present residence, the report said quoting sources.
"The actual number of these deserters is said to be quite high but the army authorities have so far communicated the names of 10 officers," it said.

The report says the first case dates back to 1995 and that a majority of the deserters are Majors.
Most of them were sent abroad for higher education or training on government expenses but they opted not to come back and started practising medicine in those countries.

China’s ‘Sharp Sword’ stealth UAV to make first flight one year later

Recently the video about the taxiing test of China’s “Sharp Sword” attack unmanned aerialvehicle (UAV) was exposed.

Media said that China’s “Sharp Sword” stealth attack UAVproof test has already begun and the frequent land taxiing tests indicate the preparatorywork for the first flight is underway.

In an interview with CCTV reporter, military expert Du Wenlong revealed that China’s first stealth UAV will make the first flight after one yearand it is in good technical conditions at the present time.

September 14, 2013

MiG-35 Deal ‘On Track’ - Minister

Russia’s Defense Ministry is not abandoning the purchase of MiG-35 fighter jets and could sign a deal next week, Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov said Saturday.

The contract could be signed at Moscow’s MAKS International Aviation and Space show, which will run from August 27 through September 1, while first deliveries could start in 2015-2016, he said.

Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said Tuesday the ministry had postponed the purchase of 37 MiG-35’s until 2016 because the defense industry cannot fulfill the contract, and would buy 16 MiG-29SMT fighter jets instead.

September 13, 2013

Russian Stealth Frigate "Dagestan" (Project 11661K)

Oman air force pilot killed

Muscat: A Royal Oman Air Force pilot was killed today (Wednesday) in an accident involving two Jaguar planes during a routine training mission in Rakhyut, about 1110-km south of Muscat, according to a source at the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The ministry source added that the tragic incident resulted in the death of Flight Lieutenant Al Azhar Bin Humaid Bin Hamad Al Shraiqi. The pilot of the other aircraft survived the collision.
The collision took place over an unpopulated area in Rakhyut thus there was no damage, injury or casualty reported from the ground.
The MoD, in a statement to Oman News Agency, “mourned the late Flight Lieutenant Al Shraiqi and prayed to Allah the Almighty to bestow His mercy on the deceased and to inspire his family with patience and solace and to Him we return”.

Northrop Grumman Delivers AEHF Flight 4 Antenna Precision Pointing Unit

Advanced EHF, the next generation of protected military communications satellites, provides vastly improved global, survivable, highly secure, protected communications for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms. The system also serves international partners including Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

"The complexity of this payload provides users with literally millions of options for countering various enemy electronic, cyber and physical threats," said Stuart Linsky, vice president, communication programs for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "The gimbal control unit on Advanced EHF payloads is one of the most advanced in the industry, operating seamlessly for precision pointing and for optimizing system performance."

Each AEHF payload contains 10 mechanically steered antennas as part of a subsystem that processes gimbal-pointing commands for precision pointing. The GCU operates two crosslink antennas, two nulling antennas and six gimbaled dish antennas, all of which have greatly increased pointing accuracy and improved reliability.

"The benefit to warfighters is high reliability and high data rate broadband communications in remote regions not covered by fixed RF antenna assets," Linsky said.
The AEHF payload provides and controls all EHF uplink, Super High Frequency downlink and crosslink functions, beam forming, on-board nulling, signal processing, and time and frequency control for low, medium and extended data rate operation.

The company has provided sophisticated and robust protected satellite communications payloads with increasing, highly secure connectivity to U.S. military forces for nearly 30 years. As the only company with this capability, Northrop Grumman delivers survivable communications that help achieve information superiority.

Sri Lanka arrests navy officer over people smuggling

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan police have arrested a navy officer suspected of involvement in smuggling people in fishing boats to Australia, officials said on Saturday.

Australia announced tough new measures in mid-July to discourage illegal boatpeople. Since then, local police have apprehended three boats and detained 300 Sri Lankans, including 56 women and 93 children.

The Sri Lankan officer was taken into custody Friday following the discovery of 73 would-be illegal immigrants in a trawler off the island’s southern coast six weeks ago, a police officer said.

Four navy sailors were taken into custody last month following the trawler’s interception.

But Lieutenant Commander Sanjeewa Annatugoda is the most senior officer to be arrested in connection with people smuggling, police said. A navy official, who declined to be named, confirmed the officer’s arrest, and said internal investigations were underway.

The latest arrest of a navy officer is an embarrassment for Colombo, which has maintained that there is no senior level official collusion with people smugglers.

Australia has said it will transfer all asylum seekers to impoverished Papua New Guinea and Nauru. Even if their asylum claims succeed, they will not be settled in Australia.

September 11, 2013

How does the War on Terror end?: Chris Fuller at TEDxSWPS

Iranian Navy Upgrading Smart Torpedoes

Exclusive: Navy Upgrading Smart Torpedoes

“Torpedos which have been used in different wargames, including surface and subsurface torpedoes .., are smart and enjoy hi-tech; yet upgrading them to become even smarter is on the Navy's agenda,” Rear Admiral Biqam said in an exclusive interview with FNA.

Iranian torpedos, launched by submarines, are able to operate under different weather conditions, in both deep and shallow waters and are equipped with an advanced safety and arm system.
The Iranian Navy conducted a series of wargames in the country’s Southern waters in December to test its capabilities in defending Iran's water borders and regional interests.

The wargames, codenamed 'The Great Naval Wargames of Velayat 91', lasted 6 days and covered around one million square kilometers from the Strait of Hormuz to the waters up to the 18-degree latitude.
The Navy tested different submarines and torpedos during the Great Naval Wargames of Velayat 91.

September 10, 2013

Northrop Grumman Unmanned Portfolio Achieves 100,000 Flight Hours Over Last 15 Years

Drones are the reason for US Military success in the global wars. All future wars will be fought with Drones with no human involvement....
 All Air forces have to look at acquisition of stealth drones for future urban battles.

 Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) portfolio of high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have achieved 100,000 flight hours – more than 88 percent of which were logged by the U.S. Air Force Global Hawk. The remaining hours were flown by the NASA Global Hawks, the German EURO HAWK®, and the U.S. Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator and, more recently, Triton UAS.
"U.S. Air Force Global Hawk is performing well and has contributed to the global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance [ISR] mission, flying approximately 75 percent of its total flight hours in combat to support six combatant commands," said Col. Carlin Heimann, Global Hawk system program director for the U.S. Air Force. "The 100,000-hour milestone is a tribute to a great team that has supported combat operations for more than a decade."
Global Hawk carries a variety of ISR sensor payloads that allow military commanders to gather near real-time imagery and use radar to detect moving or stationary targets on the ground. The system also provides airborne communications and information sharing capabilities to military units in harsh environments.

"Global Hawk flew for the first time in 1998 and was used by the Air Force for surveillance missions over Afghanistan just three years later," said George Guerra, Northrop Grumman's vice president for Global Hawk UAS. "Global Hawk has been used continuously by the Air Force since that time. The system has also supported disaster response efforts, science studies conducted by NASA and is the foundation of our new HALE Enterprise."

Combined with Global Hawk's ability to fly for more than 30 hours, the aircraft can fly almost half the circumference of the world without refueling, making the system ideally suited to take on many different ISR missions.

Global Hawk has been used over many battlefields including Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. The UAS has also supported reconnaissance and disaster response efforts following the devastating earthquakes that struck Haiti and Japan. In 2007, Global Hawk was used to cue firefighters about hotspots during the rapidly moving wildfires in Southern California.

The system holds a number of long-endurance flight world records. In 2001, Global Hawk set an official record for the longest flight by a UAS at 30 hours, 24 minutes, 1 second. That same year, Global Hawk became the only UAS to fly nonstop across the Pacific Ocean from Southern California to Australia. Since then, Global Hawks have routinely flown longer and farther. In 2008, a Global Hawk Block 20 flew for 33.1 hours – the longest mission logged to date.
Earlier this year, the Global Hawk program received the 2012 Dr. James G. Roche Sustainment Excellence Award for demonstrating the most improved performance in aircraft maintenance and logistics readiness. The prestigious award is named for the 20th secretary of the Air Force to promote maintenance excellence.

Textron's Cluster Bombs Are Anything But Ordinary

September 8, 2013

More Than $12B Contracts Inked at MAKS Airshow

More Than $12B Contracts Inked at MAKS Airshow (WRAP)

More than $12 billion in contracts have been signed at the MAKS-2013 international air and space show near Moscow, a sum exceeding the $10 billion record set in 2009.
United Aircraft Corporation president Mikhail Pogosyan said his company alone had signed at least $12 billion worth of contracts at the MAKS show this year, compared with $7.5 billion last year.
Russia’s state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport has signed five new collaboration agreements with Italy’s Finmeccanica industrial group and OMA SUD aircraft maker, and inked a contract with Cameroon for Mi-17 helicopters. Russia’s MiG fighter jet maker has clinched an agreement with India to establish a servicing center for its aircraft in the Asian country.
The Russian Defense Ministry has signed a comprehensive $3 billion agreement with the UAC on maintenance and servicing of its aircraft, avionics and equipment, and signed a $50 million contract for a unique electronic warfare system.
The UTair airline has signed a contract with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co. for six long-haul Superjets, worth $217.2 million.

On Tuesday, the UAC and the Defense Ministry signed a 80 billion ruble ($2.5 billion) contract for the servicing of aircraft, avionics and related equipment. The contract was signed in the presence of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Corporation head Pogosyan said his company’s current portfolio of orders for the Defense Ministry was for over 300 planes, while the total volume of orders as part of the state arms procurement program would be about 600 aircraft.

Under a separate deal, the Defense Ministry will receive three modernized A-50U early-warning-and-control planes this year, said Vartan Shakhgedanov, deputy general designer at the Vega company, which produces the planes.
A contract for a fourth plane is expected to be signed shortly, he added.
Shakhgedanov also said the Defense Ministry would receive the first of the two advanced Tu-214ON planes equipped for the Open Skies international program, at the MAKS airshow. The contract for the two aircraft is worth 5 billion rubles ($150 million), he added.

The Defense Ministry currently uses four An-30 aircraft and one Tu-154MLK-1 under the Open Skies Agreement.
On Wednesday, the MiG fighter jet maker signed two additional contracts with India worth a total $55 million. They are part of a general contract with India’s air force.

Under the first, $43 million contract, a servicing center will be established in India for maintenance and repair of Zhuk-ME on-board radars, MiG representatives said. The second, $12 million contract provides for the creation in India of a servicing center for modernized MiG-29UPG fighter jets.
Russia will deliver six MiG-29K Fulcrum “generation 4++” fighters to India this year as part of a 2010 contract for 29 planes worth $1.5 billion, MiG CEO Sergei Korotkov said.

India currently has 21 aircraft. Under the contract, MiG is to deliver 29 planes before 2015, Korotkov said. Last year four aircraft were delivered and one has been delivered so far this year, he added.

S. Korea, US map out plan to deter N. Korea threats


South Korea and the United States have mapped out a joint operational plan which outlines concrete measures to deter and respond to North Korea's nuclear threats, a report said Sunday.
The plan encompasses political, diplomatic and military measures to specify how Washington will provide a nuclear umbrella for South Korea in the case of North Korean nuclear provocations, Yonhap news agency said.

The customised plan will be signed at a security meeting between US and South Korean defence chiefs in early October, it said.
"The deterrence plan can be considered equivalent to an operational plan," a South Korean government source told Yonhap.

"Making an official document detailing the US nuclear umbrella reflects its firm commitment against North Korea's atomic weapons threat," the source was quoted as saying.
No details were given of the defensive and offensive measures included in the plan.
Washington, which has nearly 30,000 troops stationed in South Korea, has pledged such protection for its ally but the new plan will contain more details for Seoul and provide a written commitment.
North Korea has said it will never give up its nuclear power but maintains it is open to direct talks with the United States.

Daniel Russel, the US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said Friday in Seoul that the North's nuclear programme was a "driver of instability" in the region.
In a separate interview published Sunday, Russel said Washington would not agree to reopen six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear programme unless Pyongyang shows a clear willingness to abandon atomic weapons.

Yonhap quoted Russel as saying he was looking for "convincing indications" from North Korea that the six-party forum, if re-convened, would lead to a rapid-paced road map for the North's denuclearisation.

"Those are the signs that North Korea needs to send," he said.
"It's understandable after so many cycles of broken promises by North Korea that the international community would have high standards of evidence with a call on North Korea to make convincing indications of its seriousness and purpose," Russel was quoted as saying.

Turkish Troops Massing On Syrian Border

September 7, 2013

Modern Field Artillery

China's latest unmanned helicopter makes debut

China's latest-concept unmanned helicopter, JY-8, made its debut on Thursday at the Second China Helicopter Exposition in the northern city of Tianjin.

The helicopter, which does not feature a tail rotor, can reach a maximum speed of 400 km per hour. It is expected to be subjected to trials in 2015, said Zhu Yinchui, an engineer with the China Helicopter Research and Development Institute.

The coaxial double-oared JY-8 adopts similar high-speed technologies as the X2, an experimental helicopter developed by U.S. aircraft manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft.

China has mastered the core technologies of unmanned helicopters, and has started serialized production, said Fang Yonghong, who is in charge of the research of unmanned helicopter technologies with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China.

The company has developed unmanned helicopters with take-off weights up to one tonne. The one-tonne aircraft has a task load of 150 km and can reach a maximum altitude of 4,000 meters at a top speed of 220 km per hour, Fang said.

The range of low-cost and highly mobile helicopters is intended for uses ranging from communication relaying, precise positioning, to aid in emergency rescue operations, border patrol and scientific surveys.

Science and Islam: A Reply to "1001 Inventions and the Library of Secrets"

September 5, 2013

Embraer Defense & Security delivers the first modernized A-1 fighter jet to the Brazilian Air Force

São Paulo, Brazil, September 3, 2013 – Embraer Defense & Security held the delivery ceremony, today, for the first modernized A-1 (A-1M) fighter jet to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) at its industrial plant in Gavião Peixoto, in outstate São Paulo. The event was attended by the Aeronautics Commander, Air Force General Juniti Saito, and officers from the FAB’s High Command. O A-1M program provides for refurbishing and modernizing 43 subsonic AMX jets, 16 of which are already at the Company’s facilities.

 The A-1M jet has the capability of performing air-to-ground attack, bombing, tactical air support and reconnaissance missions. The modernized FAB airplanes will receive new systems for navigation, weaponry, oxygen generation, multimode radar, and electronic countermeasures. This equipment, along with structural refurbishment, will allow these jets to continue operating until 2025. According to the Embraer modernization program, the A-1Ms will receive systems that are similar to those that are also found on the F-5Ms and the A-29 Super Tucanos belonging to the FAB. This will assist with the adaptation period of the pilots and provides standardization with numerous operational advantages, such as improved fleet management policy, better output in terms of flight hours, and reduced maintenance and operating costs.

India Defense Ministry Signs Contract for T-90 Missiles

NEW DELHI, August 20 (RIA Novosti) – India’s Defense Ministry has signed a contract with Bharat Dynamics Limited for delivery of T-90 tank missiles manufactured under Russian license to the Indian army, The Hindu daily newspaper reported Tuesday.
Under the contract, estimated at $470 million, the deliveries of the Invar missiles, to be put on T-90 tanks, are to be completed within the next five years.

Invar is a laser-guided antitank missile with a range of five kilometers (three miles) and capability of penetrating explosive reactive armor.

Bharat Dynamics has been manufacturing the missiles in collaboration with Russia’s state arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, the newspaper said.
According to media reports, India is planning to procure 25,000 Invar missiles for its T-90 tanks, including 10,000 to be bought directly from Russia and 15,000 to be manufactured domestically under Russian license.

India Defense Ministry Signs Contract for T-90 Missiles

September 4, 2013

Solar-powered UAV could fly in the upper atmosphere for 5 years at a time

Titan Aerospace's Solara in flight

The Solara’s cruising speed will be about 104 km/h (65 mph), and it will have an operating...

Conventional satellites may be decent at their jobs, but they do have some drawbacks – the spacecraft themselves are quite expensive, getting them into orbit is also a costly process, and they can’t be reclaimed once they’re in use. Titan Aerospace, however, is offering an alternative that should have none of those problems. The company’s Solara unmanned high-altitude aircraft is intended to serve as an “atmospheric satellite,” autonomously flying in the sky’s upper reaches for as long as five years continuously.

There are actually two models of the Solara in the works. The Solara 50 will have a 50-meter (164-foot) wingspan, a length of 15.5 meters (54 ft), weigh just 159 kg (350 lb), and offer a payload capacity of over 32 kg (70 lb). The larger Solara 60 will be 60 meters (197 feet) across, with the ability to carry up to 100 kg (250 lb).

On either version, the upper wing and tail surfaces of the plane will be covered in approximately 3,000 solar cells, allowing it to generate up to seven kilowatts of power during the day – at a cruising altitude of 20 km (65,000 feet), the aircraft will be above the clouds and unaffected by weather disturbances. Hundreds of watts of that power will be stored in its onboard lithium-ion batteries, to keep its motor, autopilot, sensors and telemetry systems running throughout the night.

Each aircraft will begin its mission by taking off from the ground shortly after midnight, then climbing to its cruising altitude using its own battery power. It will then have all of the next day to recharge its battery using sunlight, thus beginning a charging-and-storing cycle that could reportedly continue for up to five years. At the end of its mission, the airplane will return to the ground, allowing its cargo to be recovered and its parts to be salvaged.

The Solara’s cruising speed will be about 104 km/h (65 mph), and it will have an operating range of over 4.5 million kilometers (about 2.8 million miles). That said, most of the aircraft’s uses will likely involve it flying in circles over a given area. These uses could include surveillance, asset tracking, live mapping, or the monitoring of crops, weather, disaster sites, or pretty much anything else that a low-altitude satellite might keep tabs on.

Additionally, Titan points out that one of the aircraft could provide cell phone coverage for an area of over 6,500 square miles (16,800 sq km), offering the reach of over 100 ground-based towers.
The company has reportedly already flown smaller prototypes, and hopes to have the full-sized Solara 50 and 60 available with a year. There’s currently no word on price, but you can see some pretty animation of one flying in the video below.

F-35B Accomplishes First Night Vertical Landing Aboard USS Wasp

U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Russell Clift performed the first F-35B night-time vertical landing aboard the USS WASP.

During the Ship Suitability Sea Trials, also known as Developmental Test Phase Two (DT-II), the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant will demonstrate critical capabilities of the aircraft that will be employed by the U.S. Marine Corps and international partners the United Kingdom and Italy.

September 3, 2013

Israel has deployed more Iron Dome air defense system to bolster security in case of strike on Syria

The Israeli military says it has deployed an "Iron Dome" missile defense battery in the Tel Aviv area. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel deployed its Iron Dome missile defence system to bolster its security as the West weighed military strikes on neighbouring Syria

New Sri Lanka Army Commander Lt Gen Daya Ratnayake assumes duties

Lt Gen R M D Ratnayake

Lieutenant General R.M.D Ratnayake who takes up the reins of office as Sri Lanka Army's 20th Commander is held in high esteem by all his colleagues as an iconic soldier with great strength of character, high sense of duty, utmost humility and selflessness. And more importantly, he is considered a brilliant strategist cum self-taught tactician who has left indelible memories both in the battlefield and the life span of the Army. Lt Gen Ratnayake, also known as 'Daya' among fellow-military men as well as phalanx of his close associates is a paragon of bravery, amiability, considerateness and compassion, reflecting age-old virtues and morals, most of which he would have probably inherited from his ancestral roots in Ethugalpura and schooldays at Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala. His elevation to the rank of Lieutenant General, effective from today, to coincide with the new appointment after his predecessor, General Jagath Jayasuriya was made the Chief of Defence Staff, comes about at a time the Army after the unparalleled victory over terrorism is dedicated to the arduous task of nation-building and transforming it to be a fully-fledged professional one, identical to the pre-1980 times. Lieutenant General Ratnayake's illustrious military career saw its inception in 1980 as an officer cadet and later to receive his commissions as a Second Lieutenant in 1981 in the Sri Lanka Light Infantry (SLLI) Regiment. His patient and steady rise to the office of the Commander after serving the Army for more than 33 years, is largely attributable to combination of many factors, like leadership, discipline, intellectual skills, principled stand, and more distinctively due to the respect and admiration he has for his former peers.

His enlistment to the Army as an Infantry soldier in his budding career, no doubt qualified him to take part in many major military operations, beginning the year 1981 and onwards. His ascension later on to be the General Officer Commanding of 23 infantry Division in the East as a seasoned warrior, marked a decisive turn in his remarkable and eventful record as humanitarian operations in the East were beginning to forge ahead during 2006 - 2007 soon after the Mavil Aru episode. His energetic and skillfully revitalized military strategies in the East caused a series of devastating blows to all sinister plans of marauding terrorists who were mostly, taken by surprise as new onslaughts against them multiplied. Of them, liberation of Vakare and Thoppigala, two infamous LTTE strongholds rekindled the hopes of thousands of soldiers who by then were of low spirits, demoralized and remained battle-fatigued with no sight of an end to blood-letting, caused by the foe. Lt Gen Ratnayake's innovative and meticulous offensive approaches in the East brought about a refreshing wave of determination and expectations for beleaguered troops as they rolled on. His exemplary and inspiring intrusion into terrorist strongholds earned him a name for himself as his men began to adore him, followed by the popular wave of support he mustered from thousands of affected civilians in his area of responsibility. Outshining as a brave soldier, he withstood the enemy pressure and spread wings for total elimination of terrorism from the eastern theatre, although the famous 'Mavilaru' episode laid the groundwork for such operations on the directions of the Secretary Defence. He never lost common touch with his subordinates wherever he served even under trying circumstances since he knew very well that "wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men," as Gen. George Patton has once remarked. In victory and defeat, Lt Gen Ratnayake remains unmoved and his ambitious instincts and vision for total elimination of the enemy, were irritating in certain situations to his superiors, resulting in his forthwith ejection from some serving formations or areas of responsibility. Yet, Lt Gen Ratnayake responded to such venomous and malicious reactions with restraint and composure, again showcasing the great strength of his character and maturity, he has in him.

His analytical excellence in Military Intelligence while still being in the Sri Lanka Light Infantry (SLLI), and having commanded Infantry battalions earlier, served the organization well as consequent major offensive operations against terrorism were all meticulously planned, based very much on such intelligence. During this period of service, he has held an assortment of command appointments on par with subsequent ranks, but ensured justice was done to each of his appointment by leaving some kind of memorable gesture, may it be a new concept, strategy, a building or a welfare project, etc with the troops before he takes over another. He is truly a man of actions with a clear vision and outspokenness. His day's hectic time-table keeps him awake late into the night and ensures all his assignments are completed before he retires to bed. His distinguished stints in many other key instructional staff appointments, including the Commanding Officer of Sri Lanka Military Academy, Director Media and Military Spokesman for the Ministry of Defence, brought credit to the country at large because he often prefers to projecting things in different perspective, away from usual stereotypes. His interaction with foreign media was a notable feature during his office as Military Spokesman (2004-2005).

September 2, 2013

Indian Air Force to induct its biggest transport aircraft C-17 today

Bolstering IAF’s capability to swiftly transport combat troops and equipment such as tanks to the front, Defence Minister A K Antony will today formally induct its biggest 70-tonne C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft into service at the Hindon Air Base near here. The Defence Minister will formally induct the aircraft procured from the US under newly-formed 81 ‘Skylord’ Squadron here, IAF officials said here. The American C-17, with a capability to carry around 80 tonnes of load and around 150 fully geared troops, will replace the Russian Il-76 as the biggest aircraft in the IAF inventory till now.

The IAF has placed orders with the US for ten such aircraft under the deal signed in 2011 and three of them have already been delivered.
The US Air Force will complete the delivery of all the 10 aircraft by the end of next year.
The aircraft is expected to enhance the operational potential of the IAF with its payload carriage and performance capability and would augment the strategic reach during disaster relief or any similar missions.

After the completion of the 10 aircraft, the IAF may also exercise the option of procuring six more planes for its fleet.

Prophetic signs of the end of the world: wars and rumors of wars

Battle for Syria

September 1, 2013

China’s Emerging C4ISR Revolution

The PLA has made remarkable strides in its systems and capabilities. But operational challenges remain.

China’s military modernization has given rise to an enormous Western literature dissecting its scope and progress. Despite this boom, many analysts have paid relatively little attention to recent advances in the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) command, control, communication, computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities.

The PLA’s growing complement of manned and unmanned aircraft, reconnaissance satellites, and sophisticated ground-based infrastructure comprises the operational foundation of China’s emerging network-centric military. It is also the means by which better-known systems, such as the DF-21D “carrier-killer” anti-ship ballistic missile or the J-20 stealth fighter, could actually fulfill their intended roles during a major regional contingency.

From recent developments in China’s C4ISR infrastructure, it is clear that PLA is well on its way to becoming a sophisticated global military possessing many of the same C4ISR capabilities enjoyed by U.S. forces although it remains to be seen whether organizational barriers will short-circuit this trend.
Airborne C4ISR

Much if not most Chinese thinking on C4ISR and military modernization stems from analysis of the United States’ military performance in recent conflicts. For example, learning from the United States’ successful employment of specialized flying C4ISR systems, such as the E-3 Sentry, and the J-8 STARS, the PLA has identified Airborne Early Warning Command and Control (AEWC&C) aircraft as central to waging war against intervening naval and air forces. According to multiple Chinese analyses, a single airborne AEWC&C aircraft is the operational equivalent of roughly ten ground-based systems of comparable sophistication. In addition to facilitating real-time intelligence gathering, border surveillance, and command and control, these systems are expected to make PLAAF and PLAN fighter aircraft less susceptible to detection by affording them enhanced situational awareness without using their own radar systems. Historically, this capability has afforded the U.S. Air Force significant advantages in beyond visual range engagements that may now be lost.

In keeping with the Chinese analyses of their significance, the PLAAF is already fielding advanced systems of this type. The PLAAF’s current top-of-the-line AEWC&C system, the KJ-2000, is believed to be one full generation ahead of U.S. E-3 AWACS and E-2 Hawkeye aircraft. Among other advancements, the KJ-2000 boasts an indigenously produced phased array radar capable of tracking sixty to one hundred aerial targets simultaneously at a distance of up to four hundred and seventy kilometers. Although somewhat less technologically sophisticated, the PLAN’s Y-8J AEW system affords China’s naval air forces a similar upgrade in situational awareness and is reportedly capable of detecting objects as miniscule as a submarine periscope within its effective range of up to one-hundred eighty-five kilometers.

The United State’s unmanned C4ISR capabilities are also being replicated by the PLA. While information beyond mock-ups displayed at China’s annual Zhuhai airshow is sparse, recent disclosures by Chinese official sources suggest unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will play a major role in China’s emerging C4ISR architecture.  According to a PLA statement posted online in July 2011, a ground operator controlled a UAV called the Silver Eagle that participated in South China Sea naval exercises. The UAV reportedly disrupted communications and responded to red team countermeasures while acting as a node for a PLA communications network.

Other modern Chinese UAV’s, such as the Guizhou Aircraft Industry Corporation’s Xianlong long-range UAV and Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ BZK-005 UAV are believed to be capable of loitering over a combat zone for roughly forty hours, much like the U.S. Global Hawk. The Chengdu aircraft Design Institute also appears to be developing its own indigenous Global Hawk, the Long Haul Eagle, which was first revealed in 2008. These systems will greatly enhance the PLA’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) while adding new capabilities.

Space-based C4ISR

China has made still greater strides in its space program and is emerging as a leading space power. Senior PLA and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders have identified space technology as a national priority and allocated significant resources to improving China’s space-related research, development, and launch infrastructure. As part of the PLA’s integrated civil-military space program, counter-space technologies and systems have been a parallel area of focus following China’s landmark 2007 anti-satellite test.

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